OpenSWR High-Performance Software Rasterizer Revised For Mesa
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 17 February 2016 at 10:07 PM EST. 10 Comments
Intel engineers have put out their latest OpenSWR patch series for providing Mesa with a high-performance, scalable software rasterizer.

In certain OpenGL workloads, the performance of OpenSWR can even beat out that of LLVMpipe. Back in October was when Intel originally published the OpenSWR bits for Mesa, which we covered in an article entitled Intel Is Making A High-Performance Software Rasterizer For Mesa.

Since that original patch series, the developers have been working on better conformance, more features, supporting Mesa's latest code-base, and supporting LLVM 3.6~3.8.

Intel's Tim Rowley described OpenSWR for Mesa, for those that didn't read about it the first time:
This patch series adds the OpenSWR driver, a new software rasterizer project by Intel. The goal of this project is to create a high performance, highly scalable renderer targeted towards visualization workloads. For geometry heavy workloads we see a considerable speedup over llvmpipe, which is to be expected as the geometry frontend of llvmpipe is single threaded.

Our rasterizer is x86 specific and requires AVX or AVX2. The driver fits into the gallium framework, and reuses gallivm for doing the TGSI to vectorized llvm-IR conversion of the kernel of the shaders.

Adding OpenSWR to Mesa adds over 54,000 lines of new code. The current patch series can be found here but so far there is no other developer upstream feedback on the latest work.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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